My Makes | The Ultimate Shift Dress

After the success of my little red dress, I really wanted to have another go at The Ultimate Shift Dress pattern from Sew Over it. And, er, its red as well. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Right?

The fabric is Fabworks’ superfine red worsted and it was £5 a metre. Five. Pounds. Astonishing value for such fantastic quality fabric. It’s so smooth that I suspected it wasn’t wool at all. I snipped a corner off and tried my hardest to melt it with the iron, just to prove that it was polyester, and I can confirm that it is definitely all natural! It’s incredibly lightweight so, although its wool, it’ll be cool enough to wear in spring and summer, but warm in winter too.

Red wool worsted ultimate shift dress by sew over it

I went with the sleeveless version of the dress so that I can wear it layered over long sleeved tops, like a pinafore. I think it’ll look great over black and white stripes.

It was the first time I’d ever sewn an all in one neck and armhole facing and I love the crisp finish it gives. I decided to use a red and white polka dot polycotton as a contrast facing. The fabric had been in my stash for years and years and I’m glad to have finally got some use out of it. The dots are super cheerful and make me smile every time I see them. For me, one of the nicest things about sewing is the little details that make your clothes unique, even if no one else ever sees them!

Red wool worsted ultimate shift dress by sew over it

I went with an elastic loop and a button fastening instead of a hook and eye, but other than that I followed the pattern exactly. It was quick and simple to make and the only thing that confused me was trying the turn the facing the right way out. It took me ages!

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I discovered you can get a sleeveless shift out of one metre of fabric, as long as its 60” wide and you use something else for your facing. As you only need your fabric and one hook and eye, the sleeveless Ultimate Shift Dress is a very inexpensive make, especially if you can use scraps from other projects for the facing. Something to bear in mind when you’re rummaging through a remnants bin!

Red wool worsted ultimate shift dress by sew over itRed wool worsted ultimate shift dress by sew over it

I’m really happy with how my dress turned out and I think I’ll get lots of wear from it, all year round. My only regret is not adding pockets. Note to self: always, always do pockets.

I’ve had two big successes with this pattern and I can see myself stitching up a few different versions. If you want a simple, low cost project that can be done in an hour or two, look no further!


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